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Mickayel Thurin

Frame Of Mind

April 4 – 27, 2024

Selected Works Thumbnails
Acknowledgment  54" x 40"  Mixed Media

Acknowledgment

54" x 40"

Mixed Media

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Astral Projecting  48" x 40"  Mixed Media

Astral Projecting

48" x 40"

Mixed Media

Inquire
Beautiful Child  20" x 16"  Mixed Media

Beautiful Child

20" x 16"

Mixed Media

Inquire
Big Sad  24" x 18"  Mixed Media

Big Sad

24" x 18"

Mixed Media

Inquire
Comfort  53.5" x 44"  Mixed Media

Comfort

53.5" x 44"

Mixed Media

 

Inquire
Learning To Love Myself  20" x 32"  Mixed Media

Learning To Love Myself

20" x 32"

Mixed Media

Inquire
Levels Of Reality  33" x 47"  Mixed Media

Levels Of Reality

33" x 47"

Mixed Media

Inquire
Our Words Have Power  20" x 16"  Mixed Media

Our Words Have Power

20" x 16"

Mixed Media

Inquire
Pain is Self Created  33.5" x 30.5"  Mixed Media

Pain Is Self Created

33.5" x 30.5"

Mixed Media

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Past, Present, Future  45" x 30"  Mixed Media

Past, Present, Future

45" x 30"

Mixed Media

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Peace   53.5" x 44"  Mixed Media

Peace 

53.5" x 44"

Mixed Media

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Perfectly Created  54" x 40"  Mixed Media

Perfectly Created

54" x 40"

Mixed Media

Inquire
Self Care Sunday  56" x 42"  Mixed Media

Self Care Sunday

56" x 42"

Mixed Media

Inquire
The Architect  20" x 16"  Mixed Media

The Architect

20" x 16"

Mixed Media

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The Conscious Magician  33" x 29.5"  Mixed Media

The Conscious Magician

33" x 29.5"

Mixed Media

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The Cycle Breaker  46" x 31"  Mixed Media

The Cycle Breaker

46" x 31"

Mixed Media

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The Grouch  16" x 12"  Mixed Media

The Grouch

16" x 12"

Mixed Media

Inquire
Acknowledgment  54" x 40"  Mixed Media

Acknowledgment

54" x 40"

Mixed Media

Astral Projecting  48" x 40"  Mixed Media

Astral Projecting

48" x 40"

Mixed Media

Beautiful Child  20" x 16"  Mixed Media

Beautiful Child

20" x 16"

Mixed Media

Big Sad  24" x 18"  Mixed Media

Big Sad

24" x 18"

Mixed Media

Comfort  53.5" x 44"  Mixed Media

Comfort

53.5" x 44"

Mixed Media

 

Learning To Love Myself  20" x 32"  Mixed Media

Learning To Love Myself

20" x 32"

Mixed Media

Levels Of Reality  33" x 47"  Mixed Media

Levels Of Reality

33" x 47"

Mixed Media

Our Words Have Power  20" x 16"  Mixed Media

Our Words Have Power

20" x 16"

Mixed Media

Pain is Self Created  33.5" x 30.5"  Mixed Media

Pain Is Self Created

33.5" x 30.5"

Mixed Media

Past, Present, Future  45" x 30"  Mixed Media

Past, Present, Future

45" x 30"

Mixed Media

Peace   53.5" x 44"  Mixed Media

Peace 

53.5" x 44"

Mixed Media

Perfectly Created  54" x 40"  Mixed Media

Perfectly Created

54" x 40"

Mixed Media

Self Care Sunday  56" x 42"  Mixed Media

Self Care Sunday

56" x 42"

Mixed Media

The Architect  20" x 16"  Mixed Media

The Architect

20" x 16"

Mixed Media

The Conscious Magician  33" x 29.5"  Mixed Media

The Conscious Magician

33" x 29.5"

Mixed Media

The Cycle Breaker  46" x 31"  Mixed Media

The Cycle Breaker

46" x 31"

Mixed Media

The Grouch  16" x 12"  Mixed Media

The Grouch

16" x 12"

Mixed Media

“The easiest way to reach the universal is through the personal and the vulnerable… I think about [Mickayel’s] portraits as a funnel through to these shared emotions. Her works are an amalgamation of a universal emotion represented through her body.” 

TK Smith

The Scream: Self-Portraiture that expresses Universal Emotion, YouTube, 2023

Mickayel Thurin - Frame Of Mind - Exhibitions - Gross McCleaf Gallery

Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to present Frame of Mind, a new body of collaged and tufted textile paintings by Mickayel Thurin. A new visual strategy has recently emerged from Thurin’s work wherein she combines intimate elements from the personal sphere, such as clothing, blankets, and soft craft materials, to create profoundly felt and vulnerable portraits. By depicting deeply personal concepts, Thurin creates pathways for connection and platforms for conversations around subjects that might otherwise be seen as private, sensitive or even taboo. 

Thurin draws directly from her life as a first-generation Haitian American woman living with her young family in the United States, saying, “I’ve always made work based on emotions, but once the work became more intimate and expressive, it became illustrations of emotions. I find the emotions connect people to the work and to our shared experiences.” It is through these illustrations that broader demographic groups such as Black Americans, young working mothers, those who’ve experienced intergenerational trauma, or who struggle with self-acceptance, can find sympathetic and meaningful connections. Furthermore, each portrait has the ability to represent a larger collective sharing, whether it be of maternal peace, the mending ability of a self-soothing mantra or the cathartic power of a guttural scream.

Image Left: Astral Projecting, 48" x 40", Mixed Media

Mickayel Thurin - Frame Of Mind - Exhibitions - Gross McCleaf Gallery

Thurin’s works are inherently attractive, providing a rich experience of color, texture and form. She thoughtfully chooses brightly saturated patterns and textured materials, interweaving them with expressive, painted faces and bodies. Reds, oranges and yellows generate emotive activity, be it zipping across the picture energetically or rippling outward to mimic a holistic aura. This is beautifully demonstrated in Peace, where a pregnant figure radiates divine equanimity with eyes closed, hands embracing her round belly, as she draws the viewer into her moment of glowing presence. In Self Care Sunday, the subject directly engages the viewer while unapologetically relishing in bathtime. Beyond the charm and confidence of the expectant mother’s character on display is Thurin’s delightful utilization of an array of surprising colors and mixed-media, such as painted patterning on the drapes and planters, cheerful lime green water, a completely tufted clawfoot tub and gold-leafed floor tiles. In Comfort, the soft blue skin of two figures sinks into the surface with calming stillness, as the couple melts into a protective embrace, their heads replicating the gentle looping ovals of the adjacent fabric.

Image Right: Pain is Self Created, 33.5″ x 30.5″, Mixed Media

Mickayel Thurin - Frame Of Mind - Exhibitions - Gross McCleaf Gallery

Each visual notation Thurin incorporates aids the formal interpretation of space and serves to reinforce the narrative details of her works. She regularly enhances her portraits with written words, phrases, and sometimes direct missives in order to make a strong point or to underscore the emotional state of her subjects. For example, the self affirming language, “you are truly amazing”, hovers elegantly above the depiction of a third eye in Astral Projecting as the figure lays hand on heart beneath a starry night. In Our Words Have Power, Thurin’s main message emphatically suggesting that one “speak with intent”, is comprehensively supported with a myriad of surrounding memos.

Thurin’s deep and thorough understanding of her own internal emotional landscape is deftly conveyed through her paintings. Through pictorial imagery, tactile materials, and messaging, she both mirrors and channels these personal experiences. This approach not only mirrors the artist’s journey, but also offers viewers an opportunity to find their own healing and growth through engagement with her work. 

Image Left: Our Words Have Power, 20" x 16", Mixed Media

Mickayel Thurin has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and a Certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She has exhibited her work in group exhibitions across the Mid-Atlantic region and has had four solo exhibitions including “Enter the Subconscious” at Delaware Contemporary Art Museum and “Big Energy” at the Saginaw Art Museum. This is her fourth solo exhibition with Gross McCleaf Gallery, and she has a solo project with Philadelphia International Airport coming up this year. Her work has been featured in and she guest starred on the WHYY television series “The Infinite Art Hunt” in the episode “The Me I See”, which aired on July 26, 2023. She was an Artist in Residence at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in June and July of 2023 and a Visiting Artist at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in September of 2022. In 2023, Thurin received an award for funding from The Foundation of Contemporary Arts. Mickayel Thurin lives with her husband, artist Ben Passione, and their two sons Maurice and Maximo in Philadelphia. 

 

Mickayel Thurin - Frame Of Mind - Exhibitions - Gross McCleaf Gallery

Peace, 53.5″ x 44″, Mixed Media

Exhibitions Dates:

April 4 - 27, 2024

Reception & Meet the Artist:
Saturday, April 6, 1 - 4 pm